Top highs and lows of Google's new mobile app tracking

Now, it's Google's turn to shake up the world of Mobile. On June 29th, the internet giant launched its own Mobile App Tracking, a short week after we announced our mobile analytics. The solution, while it is still in closed beta and has not reached functional maturity, is a significant step forward for Google, and we at Clicktale highly recommend it!!

We are extremely pleased to see this coming out onto the app platform, and with our praise below, we also advise where there may be room for improvement.

What you've got to love about Google’s App Tracking

1. Familiar UI. Google Analytics users will feel right at home and non-users will ease right in. The new era of mobile apps means a new generation of app developers who may have not used Google Analytics in the past. The learning curve for them will be as short and smooth as possible.

2. Use of screenviews instead of pageviews. We agree with Google's decision to measure screenviews instead of pageviews. This is a tough metric to measure in a still immature industry, and we think this might be the best way to do it.

3. Focus on customer acquisition. The idea of focusing on customer acquisition will, in the long run, set GA apart because they are focusing on relevant business metrics.

4. Access to complete app lifecycle. The fact that a user can be followed from the beginning of app acquisition all the way to the use of the device itself, is very powerful.

What you need to note before using Google’s App Tracking

1. Technical barrier. The integration itself comes with a bit of obstacles that need to be overcome. There is no javascript to copy and paste. This instead needs to be built into the architecture itself.

2. Engagement metrics are not the same. Although we said using screen views instead of pageviews was a bold descision, and a good one, there is a massive risk that the end user will equate to. Pageviews determines the number of pages seen within a website and is a completely different way of measuring engagement and how long people spend within a specific screen of an app. Google needs to clearly define and differentiate the two metrics if they don't deliver solid early to business users.

3. iOS Limitations. While the app acquisition tracking is great, Google’s app tracking does not work with Apple's App Store, simply because the Apple store does not pass through parameters into the apps themselves. Furthermore, if you want to get app tracking working properly with Google Play, it requires additional campaign tagging, which could confuse first-time users.

2 Thumbs Up!

It really is incredible the work that Google has invested to create a generally useful mobile app tracking tool. Since the inception of Google Analytics, the focus has always been on overall analytics knowledge that could be used by a large consumer base regardless of technical background. Now, with their mobile app tracking tool, the focus on business metrics shows how far Google has come and how much they are even more deserving of industry recognition.

We look forward to more great things from Google Analytics :-)


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